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– Tej Francis



(Crux) After a brief shout-out for the “communal and fraternal” atmosphere within the summit of bishops, speakers at a press briefing in the Vatican on Tuesday acknowledged that sexuality, the abuse crisis and the role of women in the Church are burning topics for many young people today.

“Young people have been intervening during the meetings, challenging the Church,” said Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, president of the Indian Episcopal conference, adding that he has “a renewed sense of hope for the Church after this meeting.”

Bishops from around the world have convened at the Vatican this month to discuss the topics of young people, faith and discernment, just as clerical sexual abuse and cover-up scandals have mined the credibility of the Church worldwide.

On Oct. 9, bishops began to use the working material, which includes the result of a questionnaire for youth, a document created during a pre-synod gathering of young people with insights from dioceses and Episcopal conferences around the globe.

“Young people have been making their voice heard at the synod of bishops,” said Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Québec, Canada, a member of the Commission for Information, during the press event Oct. 9.

Speakers at the press event highlighted the varying array of concerns and hopes that young people have expressed with regards to the Catholic Church, from immigration to family, from liturgy to the need to speak the language of young people – especially the Internet and social media.  But they also said that the sex abuse crisis and the need for further inclusivity in the Church were not ignored.



(CNA) The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has reached a unanimous verdict in favor of the right of a Christian-owned bakery not to create a cake in support of gay marriage. The decision, given Oct. 10, brings an end to a case which began in 2014.

The court found that Ashers bakery did not discriminate against Gareth Lee when it refused an order for a cake with an image of Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and the inscription “Support Gay Marriage.”

Writing for the court, Lady Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court, determined that support for gay marriage was a political stance and as such was the subject of the bakery’s objection.

The court found that since support for gay marriage was not limited to gay people, or necessarily determined by one’s sexual orientation, declining to bake a cake with that message could not be seen as an act of discrimination based on the sexual orientation of the person ordering it or those associated with him.

“The objection was to being required to promote the message on the cake. The less favorable treatment was afforded to the message not to the man,” the court said. “In a nutshell, the objection was to the message and not to any particular person or persons.”



(CNA/EWTN News) Princess Alexandra of Hanover, a member of the royal family of Monaco, has reportedly been removed from her distant place in the British line of succession after having become a Catholic. The news was reported in English Sept. 27 by Royal Central, which cited Point de Vue, a French weekly.

Because the British monarch is head of the Church of England, which is the established church, British law bars Catholics from succeeding to the throne.

The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 allowed heirs to the throne to marry Catholics, among other changes. However, the law still stipulates that the acting British sovereign mustn’t be a Catholic. Catholics have been barred from the English throne since the Act of Settlement 1701.

The website of the British monarchy lists only the first 17 persons in the line of succession. Princess Alexandra, 19, was born in Austria and was baptized as a Lutheran two months after her birth. She is the daughter of Caroline, Princess of Hanover and Prince Ernst August of Hanover. Through her father she is descended from Victoria, Princess Royal, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Alexandra is the granddaughter of Grace Kelly, who in 1956 became Princess of Monaco when she married Rainier III. So in addition to having been in the British line of succession, Alexandra is 12th in line to the Monegasque throne.


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